EWT Wildlife and the Law Project

Wildlife and the Law: Supporting sustainable, responsible, and ethical decision-making in relation to South Africa’s wildlife

The Wildlife and Law Project was launched in December 2019 by the Endangered Wildlife Trust with the overall goal of: robust legal and governance frameworks that enable responsible and ethical decision-making in relation to South Africa’s wildlife, resulting in ecological sustainability.

Over the past three years, this project has undertaken several initiatives that contribute positively to the Wildlife and Law Project goal and has achieved the following key successes thus far:

  1. The creation of a governmental endorsed task team for policy development and the development of a dedicated training course for permitting officials in South Africa.
  2. The development and facilitation of a novel and necessary permitting training course, addressing clear training gaps.
  3. Challenging unconstitutional and procedurally unfair laws, including the judicial review, whereby provisions of the regulations to the Animal Improvement Act (AIA) which included several wild animals, as animals to be regulated under the AIA was set aside. This case has prevented the selective breeding of these wild animals under the AIA and prevented the creation of breed standards and societies.
  4. Completed a compressive legislative review including a detailed review of the provincial legislative framework.
  5. Launched the LAWS Website, which provides current and user-friendly information on Land, Air, Water and Species (LAWS) laws in 5 difference languages.

We are currently supporting government in the development and amendment of wildlife related policy, continuing our training and advocacy work and exploring opportunities for more strategic litigation to support the realization of an environment that is protected for present and future generations.

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